What started out as a cold rain late Thursday night, transitioned over to sleet and then snow in the early morning hours of Friday, January 22, following the first bout of winter weather only two days earlier.
What can only be described as “blizzard conditions” existed as the wind whipped the snow around on Friday and even walking became uncertain. This storm was definitely a snow maker and it came down all day long with the temperature hovering around 26 degrees, making conditions even worse with ice forming everywhere. The unofficial measurements across the county were anywhere from 8 to 13 inches.
Driving conditions were extremely hazardous leaving tractor-trailers, cars and ambulances stranded as folks tried to get home or to other destinations. Vehicles were stuck on Bennett Hill Road, North Springs, Gamaliel Road, Highway 10, Cotton Hollow, Carthage Road, Scottsville Road, Galen Road and Douglas Lane just to name a few.
Numerous non-injury accidents across the area kept the Macon County Sheriffs Office, Lafayette Police Department, and tow truck drivers busy throughout the weekend.
The Highway Department did the best they could, but the continuous snowfall made it hard to clear any road for long.
The public square was deserted on Friday and several businesses in Lafayette were closed including Macon Department Store, Macon County Chronicle, McClard’s Gifts, Dollar General Store, Cash Express, Cathy’s Florist and Inspirations. Gibson’s Cafe, Macon Bank & Trust and Hometown Foods all closed early.
The snowstorm continued into Friday night, and the snow finally tapered off around 11 p.m. with a few flurries Saturday morning. The wind gusts were still 24 to 26 mph and the dropping temperature only added to our misery. Two and three feet deep snow drifts were reported everywhere.
The sun peeked thru the clouds on Saturday afternoon, but the temperature was still only 27 degrees at 3:00 p.m. The skies were crystal clear on Saturday night with the moon shining brilliantly across the frozen, snowcovered landscape.
The roads were extremely dangerous on Saturday night as well, and folks were advised again to stay off the highways with the temperature dropping to 13 of 14 degrees in Macon County.
The sun came out of Sunday and folks began digging out. By Monday afternoon the temperature had risen to 50 degrees and Lafayette became recognizable again.
Macon County schools were still closed on Tuesday.
Weather forecasters are predicting the temperature will rise to almost 60 degrees by the weekend.
I contacted Regina Flippin at the Macon County Highway Department on Monday afternoon and she said that the primary roads are in good condition but the side roads and lanes are still bad. “We are trying to get to them as fast as we can but it’s taking some time,” said Regina. “We are hoping the weather will help us get on top of this situation and we want to remind folks to be cautious because even though the roads are melting it is still dangerous.”